27th May saw British Airways flights from Gatwick and Heathrow come to a grinding halt. The issue appears to have been an IT failure; this is not the first time British Airways (BA) have experienced issues with their IT systems. Here we briefly recap BA’s most recent issues.

18th July 2016

18Th July saw BA’s flights delayed by a computer check-in system issue. This particular problem appears to have been due to a systems upgrade. BA, in fact, were aware of the potential for problems caused by this upgrade, with several signs around terminals stating:

“We are currently upgrading our check-in system and with more than 700 flights a day, it’s a big change for us.

“We would like to apologise in advance if it takes longer than usual to drop your bag today.

“Thank you for your patience.”

Luckily, both for BA and customers, delays were limited to around four hours or less. BA went on to apologise for the issue and added that this was part of a large update from their 2015 check-in systems.

6th September 2016

Less than two months later, BA systems once again experienced issues. Regarding this particular IT breakdown, a BA spokeswoman said: “It is patchy.” It remains somewhat unclear if this was a worldwide issue, or restricted to BA’s UK systems.

Customers around the world challenged BA’s claim that it was not a worldwide issue; customers took to Twitter during their respective delays to tweet about the delays.

Passenger claims pointed to an inability for staff to access the computer systems as the cause of the problem, with a pilot adding that a computer glitch had been the reason for the system failure.

27th May 2017

The largest problem happens to be BA’s most recent failure, with more than 1000 flights affected as a result of what BA called a “power surge” that affected IT equipment.

Details are still emerging as to how and why this happened, with BA’s backup data centre apparently failing alongside their “primary system.”

BA have continued to state that their IT systems were not at fault in this particular incident, claiming instead that “an electrical power supply… was interrupted.”

Could BA have prevented each of these issues?

Questions will certainly be asked of the company and the management team responsible for the company’s IT system.

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